John Cage

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Although American composer John Cage is best known now for 4’33” (a piece lasting the listed duration during which the performer produces no intentional sound, and which has its own TEDx. talk), he first found his musical footing as a dance accompanist, adding percussive pieces to a “prepared” piano. His love of unusual projects took him through the philosophical 4’33” and into music composed through the flip of a coin. He employed the same chance-based approach in his paintings and other works as well.

At least some of Cage’s fruitful, creative career can be credited to his romantic and professional partnership with modern dance choreographer Merce Cunningham. While Cage never officially came out, he described his relationship with Cunningham thusly: “I cook and Merce does the dishes.”

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